A minor is a student's secondary field of study.
A student must have a major and a minor or a double major to fulfill graduation requirements.
A minor consists of 17 semester credit hours in one department or division other than one's major.
Why a Minor Matters
More than a series of classes, a minor is an important part of a student's college experience. It can help complement a major by giving a student additional skills and insights that might not be inherent to his/her major. In addition, it can boost the career marketability of a major that might not be well known and enhance one's application for graduate school. Upon graduation, it can help shape an individual's career path.
While some students chose minors that complement their majors, others pick disciplines that reflect interests, aptitudes or career marketability.
Why is a Minor Important?
Potential employers as well as graduate school personnel look at many facets of a candidate to assess suitability.
A well-chosen minor can give a student an edge in the job search process, especially in today's highly competitive marketplace where employers are looking for multi-dimensional candidates with solid skill sets. Competencies, such as writing, foreign language fluency, information technology and management, can make a candidate favorably stand out.
Tips for Picking a Minor
- Take time to assess the many disciplines available to you by researching them on the web and by talking with your academic advisor as well as with faculty members in each of the disciplines, so you can pick the right one for you.
- If you are interested in a minor that complements your major, pick one that will enhance and broaden your insights and competencies but not be redundant in coursework.
- If a particular discipline ignites a passion in you but is one you didn't want to major in because you weren't sure of its career marketability, consider choosing it as your minor.
- If you select a pre-professional major (e.g., business, pre-physical therapy), consider picking a liberal arts minor (e.g., English, biology). Conversely, if you have a liberal arts major, you may want to choose a pre-professional minor. This combination can give you an academic foundation conducive to building interdisciplinary insights and competencies as well as enhancing your career marketability.
- Consider the benefits of getting a minor in an area that challenges you, so you can boost your skill level (e.g., writing, mathematics, information technology) and make yourself more career marketable.
- Look ahead to post-graduation plans and minor in a foreign language if there is a likelihood you will be living, working and/or traveling to an area with a high concentration of individuals who speak a foreign language.
- If you are interested in starting your own business one day, consider entrepreneurship as your minor so you can better understand and prepare for this future endeavor.
- Some disciplines are only available as minors at BW, so you may have to minor in a particular area if you have an interest or aptitude for it.